In the first book of The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith discusses the “Variations in the Proportion between the respective Values of Gold and Silver.” Throughout history, these two metals have been regarded as mints of significant value. Before mines were found in America, the difference in value between silver and gold was usually seen as proportionate, where one ounce of fine gold was considered equivalent to anywhere from ten to twelve ounces of fine
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Thanks to these other factors that played a part in the increase in value of silver, silver has become closer is not equal to the price of gold. Though the difference in literal price has not changed, the use and surplus of silver has made it more important, therefore more useful than gold. Adam Smith felt that silver was a very useful precious metal indeed.
Smith, Adam. The Wealth of Nations. London; Penguin Books